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Atlanta, U.S.A. — Testing has begun on a major component in the construction of two new nuclear units at Plant Vogtle 3 and 4 – a 560-foot tall heavy lift derrick, one of the biggest cranes in the world.
The derrick, which will be used to move large pieces at the site of the first new nuclear units built in the United States in 30 years, has the capacity to move the equivalent of five 747 jets across the distance of more than three-and-a-half football fields in a single lift.
In addition, major components will begin arriving to the site later this year and early 2013, the first of which will be the reactor vessel for Unit 3. The Unit 3 condensers have arrived from South Korea, where they were manufactured. Unit 3 is scheduled to go online in 2016, and Unit 4 will follow in 2017.
Also at the site, significant work has been done on turbine islands, cooling towers and nuclear islands. Over the next several months, progress will continue to be made in the nuclear island, turbine building and module assemblies.
“The project is progressing extremely well, especially when compared to other large-scale infrastructure projects worldwide,” said Joseph A. “Buzz” Miller, executive vice president of Nuclear Development for Georgia Power and Southern Nuclear. “The Vogtle 3 and 4 project provides at least $2.2 billion more value to customers than the next best available technology, according to Georgia Public Service Commission staff.”
The construction of Vogtle 3 and 4 is the largest job-producing project in Georgia, employing approximately 5000 people during peak construction and creating 800 permanent jobs when the plant begins operating. Once complete, the new units will produce enough electricity to power 500,000 Georgia homes and businesses.
Southern Nuclear, a subsidiary of Southern Company, is overseeing construction and will operate the two new 1,100-megawatt AP1000 units for Georgia Power and co-owners Oglethorpe Power Corporation, the Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia and Dalton Utilities. Georgia Power owns 45.7 percent of the new units, with a certified cost of $6.1 billion.
Georgia Power is the largest subsidiary of Southern Company, one of the nation’s largest generators of electricity. The company is an investor-owned, tax-paying utility with rates below the national average. Georgia Power serves 2.4 million customers in all but four of Georgia’s 159 counties.